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This Week in World: Wildfire, Typhoon, and More


Wildfire In Chile Leaves 700 Homeless

A wildfire in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso has left over 700 people homeless. The fire also destroyed 250 homes in the low-income portion of the city. City officials say that the wildfire looks like it was started deliberately. “There are indications, some evidence, that this could have been intentional,” Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said on Thursday. “That would be extremely serious.

The fire tore through the city on Christmas eve. It broke out in a forested area outside the city and immediately spread towards the coast. “That this fire was intentionally started is, from various indications, clear and we want to know who is responsible and why they would want to cause so much damage to Valparaíso,” Valparaisos mayor, Jorge Sharp, said on Wednesday.

Typhoon Phanfone Hits The Philippines

Typhoon Phanfone hit the Philippines on Tuesday, killing at least 16 people. In addition, many people are missing and thousands more stranded, trying to make their way home for Christmas. Phanfone struck the island close to regions hit by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Haiyan killed over 6,000 people that year, making it the Philippines’ deadliest typhoon.

Luckily, around 60,000 people evacuated prior to the typhoon’s landing. However, 15,000 other people were stranded at ports after ferry services were suspended. Richard Gordon, the chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, said that “A lot of people have lost their homes and they need food”. In addition, Pope Francis expressed his sympathy for the country, saying, “I join in the pain that affected the dear people of the Philippines because of the Typhoon Phanfone. I pray for the numerous victims, for the injured and for their families.”

Ukraine To Buy More US Javelin Anti-Tank Missiles

Ukraine announced plans to buy a second consignment of US Javelin anti-tank missiles on Thursday. Recently, the US has been one of Kiev’s strongest supporters since Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Officials signed the contracts for the deal in the fourth quarter of 2019. No further details were given.

The first shipment of the Javelin system’s arrived in Ukraine in April 2019. It was worth $47 million. Both the US and Ukraine believe that the system will help improve Ukraine’s long-distance defense. In addition, US President Donald Trump signed a bill that provides nearly $300 million in military aid to Ukraine.

Israel’s Government Challenged For Leadership

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently facing long term rival Gideon Saar for the leadership of his party. Although Netanyahu should win, it comes at a time of increasing difficulties for the prime minister. He is facing trial on bribery and corruption charges, as well as his third national election. Currently, he denies the charges against him, saying that they are politically motivated.

Turkey To Send Troops To Libya

Turkey plans to send troops to aid Libya at the request of Tripoli, the country announced Thursday. “If the situation escalates and then we have the right to defend Tripoli and its residents … we will submit an official request to the Turkish government to support us militarily so we expel the ghost of mercenary forces,” interior minister in Libya’s government, Fathi Bashagha, said on Thursday.